IT STARTED WITH A VISION
Jim's story of creating a Dream Center in the city of Bismarck, ND starts on May 29, 2016. He woke up with a vision for a meal ministry and services to help those in need firmly planted in his mind. Jim explained his vision to his wife Cindy and asked her what she thought about it. Cindy's reply was, "You know what you need to do." What Jim didn't realize at the time, was it was that vision and direction from God that would kick-start his drive to bring a Dream Center to Bismarck. For the next year, Cindy and Jim met with many people in the community, including several pastors, church leaders, city officials and the Mayor to discuss this vision.
Jim and Cindy began serving with The Banquet where Jim soon became a Banquet Board Member and now serves as Banquet Board Chairman.
In March of 2019
In 2019 Karla Eisenbeisz, Banquet Director, and Jeannie Messall, former Homeless Coalition Director, made a trip to the Dream Center in Los Angeles CA with Jim and Cindy. This trip was to confirm Jim's Dream Center application sent several months earlier. By May, Dream Center Bismarck was officially sanctioned. Fast forward to today, Dream Center Bismarck is a newly formed non-profit organization whose main goal is to "Find a Need & Fill It". Internationally there are about 85 Dream Centers, each working in their own community to find unmet community needs and fill them. On June 19th of 2019 the Dream Center Adopt-a-Block program was started in Bismarck, ND.
The Bismarck Adopt-a-Block program was started as a food distribution program going to Jeannette Myhre Elementary and South Central High School in Bismarck, ND and distributing free groceries to those in need. In April of 2020, with the start of COVID-19 and all the hardships it has brought to our community, especially to our low-income citizens, the program was expanded to 6 days a week.
With the help of Bismarck and Mandan Public School staff, locations were strategically chosen to serve the most households. Since that time, the Adopt-a-Block Food Distribution truck, once again with the help of Bismarck Public School staff and area churches has helped form the Needs Nook. The Needs Nook works with the Adopt-a-Block truck and others to distribute diapers and feminine hygiene products to those in need.
To obtain a supply of food, Adopt-a-Block Food Distribution makes stops at area grocery stores including Cash Wise, Dan's SuperMarkets, Natural Grocers, Costco Wholesale & Master Bakery, picking up food that is either surplus or close to the expiration date. We also partner with Great Plains Food Bank who supplies us with local products, as well a large monthly shipment of grocery product.
The Adopt-a-Block Food Distribution truck is distributing about 100,000 pounds or over $160,000 worth of food to low income households each month.
Adopt-a-Block is serving as many as 700 households every week! This is all being done with NO government funding, other than getting some USDA commodities through Great Plains Food Bank.
Dream Center Bismarck is dedicated to serving the low income and marginalized of our community. Based out of Bismarck, ND, Dream Center Bismarck is currently focused on free grocery distribution providing assistance 6 days a week to those in need.
The money low income families save on groceries can be applied towards rent, utilities, medical bills, education expenses and other essential needs!
In just a little over 2-1/2 years, Adopt-a-Block Food Distribution has impacted over 5000 households containing more than 12,500 children, adults, and seniors.
Jim Barnhardt, founder of Dream Center Bismarck and Adopt-a-Block, feels very strongly about the Dream Center concept offering both physical and spiritual assistance to those in need. As we move forward into our new facility in early 2022 we will be adding more free programs to help fill unmet needs in our community.